Apple Has Licensed iOS Design Patents to Microsoft, Agreement Bans "Cloning"

Apple has licensed its design patents to Microsoft -- the same patents at issue in the Samsung case -- according to Boris Teksler, director of Patent Licensing & Strategy at Apple. The development was revealed today in the Apple v. Samsung trial according to Dan Levine, a legal reporter for Reuters who is covering the trial from the courtroom.

Apple patent licensing director Teksler: Apple has licensed its design patents to Msft, but they have an "anticloning" agreement.

Ian Sherr, legal reporter for Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal, adds additional information on the statement, saying that the design patents are covered under Apple and Microsoft's patent cross-licensing agreement. Apple could be making this point to show that Samsung should have licensed the patents as well.

NewImage
In June, Microsoft introduced its 'Surface' tablet to compete with the iPad and Android tablets. Though there are significant physical similarities to the iPad, the Metro user interface is significantly different from iOS. The "anticloning" agreement between Microsoft and Apple may be satisfied by the Surface's very dissimilar operating system.

A Reuters article by Levine sheds some additional light on the agreement:

Apple's decision to license its design patents to Microsoft was consistent with its corporate strategy, Teksler said, because the agreement prohibited Microsoft from manufacturing copies.

"There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type," Teksler said.

The agreement is especially notable given the history of lawsuits between Microsoft and Apple, including the "look-and-feel" trial that Apple largely lost.

The Samsung trial has given Apple-watchers an unprecedented look behind the curtain at the incredibly secretive company, including detailed numbers of U.S. iPhone and iPad sales as well as a look into Apple's marketing strategy and the fact that Eddy Cue had worked to convince Steve Jobs of the need for a 7-inch iPad.

Top Rated Comments

Kaibelf Avatar
117 months ago
See Samsung? Is it that hard to actually PAY for the things you take?
Score: 69 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nick_elt Avatar
117 months ago
As much as I have been burned by Windows in the past, I gotta give credit to Microsoft for showing the world that that yes you can come up with your own fresh ideas and implement them. Doesnt mean ill buy their stuff anytime soon tho. (unless some amazing Lumia Pureview comes out soon)
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KPOM Avatar
117 months ago
This bolsters Apple's case. First, it shows that Apple can be reasonable with another competitor, plus it shows evidence that Apple isn't singling out Samsung in enforcement of its design patents. Apparently at some point Microsoft and Apple reached agreement that enables Microsoft to compete in the market while satisfying Apple's concerns about design infringement.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Malus120 Avatar
117 months ago
I'll admit, I have no love for Microsoft and the majority of their products. That said, I have a lot of respect for what they've done in the mobile space. They've shown that you CAN create an alternative to iOS without blatantly ripping off Apple's IP.

This agreement further demonstrates that even Microsoft understands that
A) You license other's IP when you have to, instead of trying to get away with grand theft.
B) If you don't wanna be dependent on that license forever, all you have to do is start thinking outside the "box" of that license...

All I have to say is, either force them to play by the rules or NAIL SAMSUNG to the wall Apple.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mevensen Avatar
117 months ago
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.

Except that we have already seen testimony the Apple had offerred a similar licensing agreement to Samsung. So Apple did "put it up" for them, they just didn't bite.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2bikes Avatar
117 months ago
minus the fact Apple is not putting it up for anyone else. This could really come back to hurt Apple and then getting nailed for the actions.

Something already smelled pretty bad between Apple and MS.

What do you mean by `Apple is not putting it up for anyone else`? until now we didn't know they were putting it up for Microsoft either.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Pro Display XDR Yella

Apple Working on External Display With Built-In A13 Chip

Friday July 23, 2021 9:37 am PDT by
Apple is developing an external display that includes an A13 chip with Neural Engine, according to a new rumor from 9to5Mac. The A13 chip with Neural Engine would presumably serve as an eGPU, though details are light at this time. Having a CPU/GPU built into the external display could help Macs deliver high-resolution graphics without using all the resources of the computer's internal chip....
airpods 3 gizmochina Feature

AirPods 3 Rumored to Launch Alongside iPhone 13 at Expected September Event

Friday July 23, 2021 12:54 am PDT by
The third-generation AirPods will likely launch at the same event revealing Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup, according to a report from DigiTimes, which makes the claim citing sources familiar with the matter. The report as a whole echoes previous reporting that production of the third-generation AirPods will kickstart in August, meaning a launch shortly after can be easily expected. DigiTi...
discount m1 macbook yellow

Deals: Shop Record Low Prices Across Apple's Full MacBook Pro and MacBook Air Lineup (Up to $499 Off)

Friday July 23, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
Apple's MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lineup is seeing all-time low discounts across the board today, including the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, 2020 13-inch MacBook Air, and 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. 13-Inch M1...
iPad mini pro feature

Next iPad Mini Won't Feature Mini-LED Display, Claims Display Analyst

Friday July 23, 2021 8:07 am PDT by
Yesterday, DigiTimes claimed that the upcoming iPad mini will feature a mini-LED display, but now, display analyst Ross Young is going at odds with that report, claiming that while the updated iPad mini continues to be on track for a release this year, it won't feature a mini-LED display. Young says he "confirmed" with Radiant Opto-Electronics, who DigiTimes claims would provide Apple with...
idos 2 app ios

Apple to Pull 'iDOS 2' DOS Emulator From App Store

Thursday July 22, 2021 3:22 pm PDT by
iDOS 2, an app designed to allow users to play classic DOS games, will soon be pulled from the App Store, the app's creator said today. According to iDOS developer Chaoji Li, he tried to submit an iDOS update with bug fixes to the App Store, but was told that the update was rejected because it violated the 2.5.2 App Store guideline that says apps cannot install or launch executable code.Durin...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
iphone12cameras

iPhone Helps to Identify Rare Form of Cancer

Friday July 23, 2021 4:00 am PDT by
A photo taken on an iPhone has helped to identify a rare form of cancer, according to news reports. A mother of three from Gainesville, Florida took a photo of her three-month-old son using her iPhone and its True Tone flash, which highlighted an abnormality in his right eye. The boy's mother, a labor and delivery nurse, recalled learning about retinoblastoma during her training....
iphone 13 blue with text

iPhone 13 May Support 25W Fast Charge Power Adapter

Friday July 23, 2021 2:52 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 may support faster-charging speeds with a 25W power adapter, compared to the current limitation of the iPhone 12, which only supports fast charging at up to 20W, according to a rumor originating from China. The iPhone 12 supports fast charging with a 20W or higher power adapter; however, even if users use a more powerful wall adapter, the iPhone itself only supports up to 20W....
iPad mini pro feature

Next-Generation iPad Mini Will Reportedly Feature a Mini-LED Display

Thursday July 22, 2021 9:03 am PDT by
Apple is widely rumored to be planning a new iPad mini with a significant redesign, including a larger 8.5-inch to 9-inch display with slimmer bezels, a Touch ID power button instead of a home button, a USB-C port instead of a Lightning connector, and more. According to a paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today, the sixth-generation iPad mini will also feature a mini-LED display:BLU...
magsafe battery pack iphone 12 mini

Top Stories: Hands-On With MagSafe Battery Pack, iPhone 13 Always-On Display?

Saturday July 24, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe Battery Pack is now available, and we went hands-on this week for some early impressions of the new accessory to get more battery life out of Apple's iPhone 12 lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. This week also saw a number of rumors about the upcoming redesigned MacBook Pro models, the iPhone 13 lineup, the next-generation iPad mini, a new...